Last Updated: 2010-01-15

Auxiliary Grants

This program offers benefits to help pay for housing as a supplement to the recipient's income. Auxiliary grants are offered to city residents who are age 65 or over, or blind, disabled and living in a licensed home for adults. Grant recipients also receive a personal needs allowance and full Medicaid coverage.

The Auxiliary Grant program works closely with the Adult Stabilization services.

Emergency Assistance

Emergency Assistance (EA) provides short-term, limited financial assistance to individuals and families with children when a fire or other natural disaster has destroyed those things necessary for taking care of the household. EA may also be available to assist in a housing emergency if the person had no control over the circumstances.

Emergency Assistance payments can be made for shelter (for example rent, utilities, moving costs), or the repair or replacement of essential household items. The amount of assistance cannot be more than $500 in any 12-month period.

Energy Assistance -- Fuel, Crisis, Cooling

The Energy Assistance Program assists low-income households that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy. The program consists of three components.

  • Fuel Assistance
  • Crisis Assistance
  • Cooling Assistance

Fuel Assistance

Fuel Assistance helps eligible households with the costs of heating their homes.

To be eligible for fuel assistance, there are income guidelines, resource maximums and living arrangements that must be met. The household must also be responsible for paying the heating bill.

Fuel Assistance applications are accepted from the second Tuesday in October through the second Friday in November at the Department of Social Services. Fuel Assistance applications are processed as soon as possible and applicants should expect notification of their eligibility determination by mid-December.

Crisis Assistance

Crisis Assistance helps eligible households in emergency energy situations, which cannot be met by Fuel Assistance or other resources.

Types of crisis assistance may include: cost to repair or replace heating equipment. To be eligible for crisis assistance, fuel eligibility criteria must be met, and there must be a heating emergency. Crisis Assistance applications are accepted from November 1 through March 15 at the Department of Social Services. All crisis assistance is based on availability of funds.

Cooling Assistance

Cooling Assistance applications are accepted at the Department of Social Services from June 15 through August 15 to help eligible households with their cooling needs.

To be eligible for any type of Cooling Assistance, fuel assistance eligibility criteria must be met, the household must contain at least one vulnerable person and there must be a cooling need. The following types of assistance are available if eligibility conditions are met: purchase of a portable or installed fan, purchase and installation of an air conditioner, payment of an electric utility security deposit, or payment of the electric bill to operate the cooling equipment.


The Fraud team investigates reports concerning welfare fraud committed by recipients of benefits. Reports are received from citizens, social services staff, and other community partners. The information obtained may be used by the Commonwealth's Attorney for prosecution. Fraud staff determines the amount of benefits to which the recipient was not entitled and seeks collections to reimburse the agency for improperly received benefits.

Initiative for Employment
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families(TANF) /
Virginia Initiative for Employment, not Welfare (VIEW)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Virginia Initiative for Employment, not Welfare (VIEW) provides temporary financial assistance and employment-related services to enable families with children to become self-supporting. The family receives a monthly cash payment to meet their basic needs and child care assistance for children under age 13. TANF/VIEW seeks to ends dependency on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and family stability. TANF also encourages the formation and maintenance of two-parent families, thus reducing the incidence of pregnancy outside of marriage. To be eligible, the family must be financially needy and pass the income screenings.

To apply for TANF

VIEW Employment Assistance

Individuals enrolled in VIEW will receive assistance from a caseworker in the Employment Service program to assess and reassess the barriers that keep them from employment. They provide supportive services such as job and skills training, day care assistance, transportation assistance, counseling, education assistance and referrals to help move customers toward self-sufficiency. Staff will also determine a client's continuing need for public assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and TANF. Adults age 18 and over who are TANF eligible and able-bodied, and parents are eligible to participate in employment assistance services.

Employment Assistance/SNAPET

The goal of the employment assistance program for food stamps recipients, SNAPET (formerly known as FSET) is to provide opportunities for job search and job training to become no longer dependent on food stamps. The program is open to individuals who are not also receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). At this time, the program targets single adults living alone. Registrants are referred to the FSET program at the time of food stamp application, reapplication and every 12 months thereafter unless a change occurs that affects exemption status.

Clients in the program may participate in a job search, job readiness training, and/or unpaid work experience, which may serve to make them more employable. Supportive services may include child day care, transportation, and medical/dental services.

Contact Information:

Social Services
City of Richmond
Marshall Plaza Building
900 E. Marshall St.
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Customer Care Center: 3-1-1


East Richmond:
East District Center
701 North 25th Street
Richmond, VA 23223-6539
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Marshall Plaza Building
900 East Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23219-1538
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South Richmond:
Southside Community Service Center
4100 Hull Street Road
Richmond, VA 23224-1745
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